Texting can help in identifying postpartum health risk

Text messages are an effective tool in identifying preeclampsia among postpartum women and can lead to treatments for patients earlier than traditional approaches.

The Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania study found that early detection and treatment are critical given the severe healthcare impact preeclampsia can pose. Currently the condition is monitored in follow-up office visits seven to 10 days after a woman is released from the hospital. Mobile messaging can speed detection of the condition, and help patients avoid intensive care scenarios, according to an announcement on the study.

"By monitoring blood pressure levels for our postpartum patients who are at home with new babies and can't always get to office visits, we can provide a convenient and effective way of identifying those who are at risk for complications and may require follow-up care before the situation becomes critical," lead author Dr. Adi Hirshberg, a fellow in the department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, said in the announcement.

Studies earlier this year revealed messaging can help boost medication adherence among chronic disease patients and also shorten hospital stays in some cases.

The Penn study, which involved 32 postpartum patients diagnosed with preeclampsia, revealed texting to promote remote blood pressure monitoring is easy and economical but more investigation is needed regarding efficacy of telemedicine platforms.

For more information:
- read the announcement

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